Saturday, February 28, 2009

I would like you to meet ...

Winnie Nixon

Winnie is AOEFs newest scholarship recipient!

Winnie is 10 years old. Winnie’s mother, Lillian, passed away in 2002, due to HIV. Winnie’s father subsequently fell ill and passed away in 2006 (probably due to HIV as well, although he was undiagnosed, which is so often the case). Lillian's sister took Winnie and has raised her ever-since, here in Karatu.

Winnie is currently in the fifth grade – referred to as Standard Five in Tanzania – at Tumaini Junior Academy, here in Karatu, Tanzania. At the end of the 2008 school year (just this past December), all the children in the Karatu District take government assessment tests. Winnie scored the highest score of any child in the District, out of thousands of children. To say that she is bright is an understatement!

Asante sana (thank you) to Mr. Robert Olson, of Bellingham, Washington for being Winnie's sponsor! Your generosity will guarantee the best education available here for a little girl so full of potential!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thank You AOEF Donors

I want to personally thank all of you who have donated to the African Orphan Education Fund!

And I wanted to give you yet another example of how your generosity is making a difference in the lives of needy children here in Tanzania.

Thanks to your donations, AOEF was able to cover the costs for Benjamin and Ester, siblings who attend Tumaini Junior Academy, to get glasses.

Benjamin and Ester - who are almost identical in looks - have been complaining about headaches and difficulty seeing the board since beginning at Tumaini months ago. Their father is unable to assist financially.

AOEF covered all of the costs for these two to see an ophthalmologist and to purchase their very own - and much needed - pair of glasses!



So a big THANK YOU from Benjamin and Ester!

Two more children in Tanzania, able to learn because of YOU!!!

Last But Not Least ...

Introducing ...


Also called Ema, Emanuel is the newest and youngest addition to RVCV. Today he came to the clinic with a bit of a cold and I got to snap a few pics before he fell asleep.

Here is Ema with one of our nurses, Safi. His cheeks are SO much bigger than when he arrived. He is three months old and still a bit small but doing incredibly well! And such a sweet baby!

Baby Vicente

This morning we had RVCV visitors - one of whom was Baby Vicente! Who, among other things, isn't a baby anymore!!!

He is getting so tall! Acted too shy to smile for the camera but was also feeling under the weather so I tried not to bug him too much. Saw the doctor, took his dawa (meds) home and will be better soon!

Just in case you are wondering, he doesn't have a shirt on because he got car sick on the way to clinic!

Here he is greeting Dr. Frank and Dr. Frank's new assistant - Nikki - a 10 month old puppy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tumaini Junior Academy

Since arriving in September, I have had the great privilege to get to know Mr. Modest Bayo - a remarkable Tanzanian, working to improve education right here in rural Karatu. Just a few years ago, Bayo left a very successful career as a safari driver and started a primary school. The school - Tumaini Junior Academy - is an English medium, private school. With the help of his wife, and an amazing staff of teachers and administrators, Bayo has created a truly exceptional institution.

In addition to creating quality education, Bayo has made a commitment to helping children in certain circumstances who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend Tumaini. Tumaini is a private school and therefore requires that parents pay tuition costs. But for certain students - often times those without one or both parents - Bayo has granted "scholarships" - basically allowing them to attend for free. Bayo has taken on this burden out of the kindness of his heart. But it is difficult for Tumaini to make ends meet with this growing number of "scholarship" students. Therefore, the African Orphan Education Fund has offered to assist when possible with the tuition for as many of these children as is possible to raise the funds for.

Here is a picture of two of the classroom buildings at Tumaini.

This is Mr. Bayo, Founder and Director.

Here are some of the shining faces you find at Tumaini!

Here is a picture of the new construction happening at Tumaini - a three story classroom/library/office complex. A virtual high-rise by Karatu standards!

More information to follow about new AOEF Scholars - currently attending Tumaini!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Scholarship Recipient Update #2

I just received a letter from Vincent Tlemu, one of AOEF's scholars! He started Form 4 in January after scoring very high on his end of term exams - he came in 5th out of 177 total students in his class at Makumira Secondary School - we couldn't be more proud!

He reported back about his Form 3 year. He loved Chemistry and Math. He thoroughly enjoyed playing on the schools soccer team. He was elected Class President and Head of the Food Department (I have no idea what that means but way to go!).

Obviously, Vincent is a born leader and is taking his education incredibly seriously!

We are so proud of Vincent and his accomplishments in the face of great adversity!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Busy Month

Dear all,

I apologize for not blogging more often. I have an entire list of topics, pictures and stories but simply haven't had the time to write and upload (you can't believe how slow the internet is!). We have been swarmed this month with visitors, volunteers, tour groups, and travels ourselves - not a whole lot of time for work on the computer.

Hoping that all is well back home! Just wanted everyone to know that things here are great - all is well!

Here is a picture from this past weekend. The kiddos have yet to grasp the concept of actually smiling at the camera. Oh well ...

Lots of love, Meredith, Addie and Coleton

more to come ...